1 Then the kings as well as the princes of the provinces sent their emissaries from all of the cities: from Syria, particularly Mesopotamia, and Syria Sobal, and Libya as well as Cilicia. These, upon coming to Holofernes, said:
2 Let your indignation concerning us cease. For it is better for us to live in service to Nebuchadnezzar, the great king, and to become subject to you, rather than to die, even though we may have to suffer our condemnation into the annihilation of slavery.
3 All our cities and all our possessions, all mountains, and hills, and fields, and herds of cattle, and flocks of sheep, and goats, and horses, and camels, and all our resources and families are in your sight.
4 Let all that we have be subject to your law.
5 We, and our sons, are your servants.
6 Come to us as a peaceful lord, and use our service, just as it pleases you.”
7 Then he descended from the mountains with horsemen, in great power, and he took charge of every city and of every inhabitant of the land.
8 And, from all the cities, he took for himself auxiliaries: strong men and well-chosen for war.
9 And such a dread lay upon those provinces, that the leading and honored inhabitants of all the cities, together with the people, went out to meet him at his arrival.
10 They received him with garlands and lamps; they were led by choirs with timbrels and flutes.
11 Yet, not even by doing these things were they able to mitigate the ferocity of his chest.
12 For he both destroyed their cities and cut down their sacred groves.
13 For king Nebuchadnezzar had instructed him to exterminate all the gods of the earth, evidently so that he alone might be called ‘god’ by those nations which were able to be subjugated by the power of Holofernes.
14 But when he had passed through Syria Sobal, and all of Apamea, and all Mesopotamia, he came to the Idumeans in the land of Gibeah.
15 And he took their cities, and he sat there for thirty days, during which days he instructed all the troops of his army to regroup.
1 Then, upon hearing these things, the sons of Israel, who dwelt in the land of Judah, were very afraid before his face.
2 Trembling and horror invaded their senses, lest he should do the same thing to Jerusalem and to the temple of the Lord that he had done to other cities and their temples.
3 And they sent into all of Samaria, and by an indirect route even to Jericho, and they seized in advance all the tops of the mountains.
4 And they surrounded their villages with walls, and they gathered together grain in preparation for the fight.
5 And then Eliachim the priest wrote to all who were opposite Esdrelon, which is opposite the face of the great plain near Dothain, and to all whom he would be able to reach through a passable way:
6 that they should hold the ascents of the mountains, through which there might be any passage able to reach Jerusalem, and that they should keep watch where the passage was narrow, wherever possible, between the mountains.
7 And the sons of Israel did just as Eliachim, the priest of the Lord, had appointed them.
8 And all the people cried out to the Lord with great urgency, and they humbled their souls with fastings, and prayers, both they and their wives.
9 And the priests clothed themselves with haircloths, and they prostrated the little children opposite the face of the temple of the Lord, and they covered the altar of the Lord with haircloth.
10 And they cried out to the Lord God of Israel with one accord, lest their children should be given over as prey, and their wives into distribution, and their cities into extermination, and their holy things into defilement, and so that they might not become the disgrace of the Gentiles.
11 Then Eliachim, the high priest of the Lord, traveled all around Israel, and he was talking to them,
12 saying: “Know that the Lord will heed your prayers, if you continue to persevere in fastings and prayers in the sight of the Lord.
13 Recall that Moses, the servant of the Lord, overcame Amalek, who trusted in his own strength, and in his power, and in his army, and in his bronze shields, and in his swift chariots, and in his horsemen. He overcame him, not by fighting with iron, but by pleading with holy prayers.
14 So will it be with all the enemies of Israel, if you persevere in this work that you have begun.”
15 Therefore, by this exhortation and his prayer to the Lord, they continued in the sight of the Lord,
16 so that even those who offered holocausts to the Lord, offered the sacrifices to the Lord girded with haircloths, and there were ashes upon their heads.
17 And they all begged God with their whole heart, that he would visit his people Israel.
1 And it was reported to Holofernes, the leader of the military of the Assyrians, that the sons of Israel were preparing themselves to resist, and also that they had closed the mountain passes.
2 And he was enraged with extreme fury and great indignation, and he called together all the leaders of Moab and the leaders of Ammon.
3 And he said to them: “Tell me who this people may be, who obstruct the mountains. And which are their cities, and of what kind, and how many? And then, what may be their power, and what may be their number, and who is king over their military?
4 And why have these, more than all who dwell in the east, shown contempt for us, and have not gone out to meet us, so that they might receive us with peace?”
5 Then Achior, commander of all the sons of Ammon, responding, said: “If you would deign to listen, my lord, I will tell the truth in your sight about this people, who dwell in the mountains, and not a false word will go forth from my mouth.
6 This people is from the progeny of the Chaldeans.
7 These dwelt at first in Mesopotamia, because they were not willing to follow the gods of their fathers, who were in the land of the Chaldeans.
8 And so, forsaking the ceremonies of their fathers, which were with a multitude of gods,
9 they worshipped one God of heaven, who also instructed them to go forth from that place and to dwell in Canaan. And when a famine covered the whole land, they went down into Egypt, and there, through four hundred years, they were so multiplied, that the army of them could not be numbered.
10 And when the king of Egypt oppressed them, and also subjugated them to labor with clay and brick in the building of his cities, they cried out to their Lord, and he struck the entire land of Egypt with various plagues.
11 And when the Egyptians had cast them away from them, and the plague had ceased from them, and they were willing to seize them again and recall them to their servitude:
12 the God of heaven opened the sea to these as they fled, so that the waters were made to stand firm like a wall on either side, and these walked across the bottom of the sea and passed through with dry feet.
13 In that place, when an innumerable army of the Egyptians pursued after them, they were so overwhelmed with the waters, that not even one remained to report to posterity what had happened.
14 In truth, going forth from the Red Sea, they occupied the deserts of mount Sinai, in which man could never dwell, nor a son of man take rest.
15 In that place, bitter fountains became sweet for them to drink, and, through forty years, they continued to receive provisions from heaven.
16 And, although they had entered without bow and arrow, and without shield and sword, their God fought on their behalf and was victorious.
17 And there was no one who could attack this people, except when they withdrew from the worship of the Lord their God.
18 But as often as they worshipped any other, except their own God, they were delivered to plunder, and to the sword, and into reproach.
19 But as often as they were repentant for having withdrawn from the worship of their God, the God of heaven gave them the power to resist.
20 And, indeed, they overthrew the king of the Canaanites, and of the Jebusites, and of the Perizzites, and of the Hethites, and of the Hevites, and of the Amorrhites, and all the powerful ones in Hesebon, and these same possessed their lands and their cities.
21 And, as long as they did not sin in the sight of their God, it was well with them. For their God hates iniquity.
22 And even some years ago, when they had withdrawn from the way that their God had given them to walk, they were destroyed in battles by many nations and very many of them were led away captive into a land not their own.
23 But, more recently, returning to the Lord their God, from the dispersion in which they had been scattered, they have united and have ascended into all these mountains, and they again possess Jerusalem, where their holy things are.
24 Therefore, now my lord, inquire if there may be any iniquity of theirs in the sight of their God. If so, let us ascend to them, because their God will surely deliver them to you, and they will be subjugated under the yoke of your power.
25 But if, in truth, there may be no offense of this people before their God, we will not be able to resist them, because their God will defend them, and we will become a disgrace to the whole earth.”
26 And it happened, when Achior had ceased to speak these words, all the great men of Holofernes were angry, and they intended to execute him, saying to each other:
27 Who is this, that says the sons of Israel are able to resist king Nebuchadnezzar and his armies: unarmed men, and without strength, and without skill in the art of fighting?
28 Therefore, so that Achior may know that he has failed us, let us ascend to the mountains. And, when the most powerful among them have been taken, then, with them, he will be impaled with the sword.
29 So may every people know that Nebuchadnezzar is god of the earth, and there is no other, except him.”
1 Woe to me, for I have become just like one who gleans the clusters of the vintage in autumn. There is no cluster of grapes to consume; my soul desired figs out of season.
2 The holy ones pass away from the land, and there is no one righteous among men. All wait in ambush for blood; a man hunts his brother to death.
3 The evil of their hands, they call good. The leader is demanding, and the judge is yielding, and the great is speaking the desire of his soul, and they have confused it.
4 Whoever is best among them is like a thorny plant, and he who is righteous is like a thorny hedge. The day of your inspection, your visitation, arrives. Now will be their ruination.
5 Do not be willing to believe a friend. And do not be willing to confide in a commander. From her, who sleeps in your bosom, keep the doors of your mouth closed.
6 For the son acts with contempt for the father, and the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man’s enemies are those of his own household.
7 But I will look towards the Lord. I will wait for God, my Savior. My God will hear me.
8 You, my enemy, should not rejoice over me because I have fallen. I will rise up, when I sit in darkness. The Lord is my light.
9 I will carry the wrath of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he may judge my case and execute judgment for me. He will lead me into the light. I will behold his justice.
10 And my enemy will look, and she will be covered with confusion, she who says to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes will look upon her. Now she will be trampled under foot like the mud of the streets.
11 The day that your walls will be rebuilt, in that day the law will be far away.
12 In that day also, they will come towards you even from Assur, and even to the fortified cities, and from the fortified cities even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.
13 And the land will be in desolation, because of its inhabitants and because of the fruit of their intentions.
14 With your rod, pasture your people, the flock of your inheritance, living alone in the narrow forest, in the midst of Carmel. They will graze in Bashan and Gilead, as in the ancient days.
15 As in the days of your departure from the land of Egypt, I will reveal miracles to him.
16 The nations will look, and they will be confounded at the strength of them all. They will place hand over mouth; their ears will be deaf.
17 They will lick the dust like serpents, and, like the creeping things of the earth, they will be disturbed in their houses. They will dread the Lord our God, and they will fear you.
18 What God is like you, who takes away iniquity and passes over the sin of the remnant of your inheritance? No longer will he send forth his fury, because he is willing to be merciful.
19 He will turn back and have mercy on us. He will put away our iniquities, and he will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
20 You will give the truth to Jacob, mercy to Abraham, which you swore to our fathers from the ancient days.
1 A canticle of a psalm for David himself.
2 My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready: I will sing, and will give praise, with my glory.
3 Arise, my glory; arise, psaltery and harp: I will arise in the morning early.
4 I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: and I will sing unto thee among the populations.
5 For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth even unto the clouds.
1 I wish that you would endure a small amount of my foolishness, so as to bear with me.
2 For I am jealous toward you, with the jealousy of God. And I have espoused you to one husband, offering you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
3 But I am afraid lest, as the serpent led astray Eve by his cleverness, so your minds might be corrupted and might fall away from the simplicity which is in Christ.
4 For if anyone arrives preaching another Christ, one whom we have not preached; or if you receive another Spirit, one whom you have not received; or another Gospel, one which you have not been given: you might permit him to guide you.
5 For I consider that I have done nothing less than the great Apostles.
6 For although I may be unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge. But, in all things, we have been made manifest to you.
7 Or did I commit a sin by humbling myself so that you would be exalted? For I preached the Gospel of God to you freely.
8 I have taken from other churches, receiving a stipend from them to the benefit of your ministry.
9 And when I was with you and in need, I was burdensome to no one. For the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied whatever was lacking to me. And in all things, I have kept myself, and I will keep myself, from being burdensome to you.
10 The truth of Christ is in me, and so this glorying shall not be broken away from me in the regions of Achaia.
11 Why so? Is it because I do not love you? God knows I do.
12 But what I am doing, I will continue to do, so that I may take away an opportunity from those who desire an opportunity by which they may glory, so as to be considered to be like us.
13 For false apostles, such as these deceitful workers, are presenting themselves as if they were Apostles of Christ.
14 And no wonder, for even Satan presents himself as if he were an Angel of light.
15 Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers present themselves as if they were ministers of justice, for their end shall be according to their works.
16 I say again. And let no one consider me to be foolish. Or, at least, accept me as if I were foolish, so that I also may glory a small amount.
17 What I am saying is not said according to God, but as if in foolishness, in this matter of glorying.
18 Since so many glory according to the flesh, I will glory also.
19 For you freely accept the foolish, though you yourselves claim to be wise.